independent

Monday 22 July 2019

Jackson fundraiser raises over €40k

Sean Kinsella, Katelyn Whelan Kinsella and Michelle Whelan
Sean Kinsella, Katelyn Whelan Kinsella and Michelle Whelan
From left, back – Ben Doyle, Philip Creane and Patsy Egan; front –Trish Byrne, Frank Flanagan and Eilish Cullen

Pádraig Byrne

The family of a thirteen year-old who died in tragic circumstances in November of last year are delighted to announce that a fundraiser in his memory has raised in excess of €40,000 for charity.

Jack Whelan Kinsella passed away seven months ago and his parents Michelle Whelan and Sean Kinsella have since been busy planning a major fundraiser with all money raised going to Pieta House and Wexford Marine Watch. The culmination of all their hard work took place on Saturday night as they hosted the 'Jackson Ball' in memory of the promising young athlete and CBS student at Clayton Whites Hotel.

Over 450 people attended the glamorous affair on the night which saw music from Rachel Grace, Extreme Rhythm, Divine Invention and DJ Eoin Healy, as well as a three course meal and a huge charity auction hosted by hurling hero Tom Dempsey, which raised €5,000 by itself.

Among the lots up for grabs were signed Liverpool, Manchester United, Leinster and Wexford jerseys with Leinster final tickets thrown in for good measure.

'It couldn't have went any better,' said Jack's father Sean. 'The place was jammed. The auction in particular went really well. We couldn't believe the amount of money it brought in. At the moment, we're still counting money, but it looks like we'll have over €40,000 when all is said and done.'

Sean says the support for himself, Michelle and all Jack's family since his passing has been phenomenal and people really got behind the fundraiser. In particular, he wished to thank Leanne Parle, Andrea Roche, Denise Power and Sue Ellen O'Connor, as well as Sam McCauleys, Pettitt's SuperValu and Clayton Whites Hotel along with a whole host of other businesses who provided invaluable support.

'It gives everyone in the family a good memory to look back on,' said Sean. 'It's easy to look back and see the darkness, but this has been a really positive thing and it's been great for the family. I was worried that it might be too much for them on the night, but in actual fact, the night gave everyone a lift and I'm grateful to everyone who helped out with it.'

Such was the success of the event that Sean has already booked in June 13, 2020, for the next Jackson Ball and is hoping to continue raising money in Jack's memory.

Gorey Guardian

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